Sick leave over one year has increased by 64 % in ten years. According to figures published by the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (Inami) and reported by L’Echo on Tuesday (10 May), there were 370 400 long-term ill in Belgium in 2014. Between the last two years the number of patients increased by 8 % against 5 – 6 % in the past.
The vast majority of long-term sick are employees (347,000) while the number of self-employed patients is 23,500. Last year five billion euros were paid in sick allowances.
Inami explains the increase by the rise in stress-related illnesses and the lengthening of the working career.
To counter this phenomenon that worries the government because of the costs, the Minister of Public Health Maggie De Block has decided to launch a monitoring procedure via a questionnaire inspired by a Norwegian system.